WIVENHOE Town manager James Meadows hopes his team continue a welcome habit of bouncing back quickly from setbacks when they return to Thurlow Nunn League division one south action this weekend.

The Dragons kick-start a run of three back-to-back league games at the GMP Plant Hire Stadium with the visit of Fire United on Saturday, but come into the game hoping to respond to the disappointment of bowing out of the the League Cup on penalties against Needham Market Reserves in midweek.

Despite the end result on Tuesday, Meadows feels his team are developing well and hopes they bounce back in the way they have before when things haven't gone their way.

He said: “It took us a while to gel at the start of the season because I came in quite late in pre-season.

“However, we’re now getting a lot of people showing interest in us and wanting to come over and sign.

“The team has evolved from the way that we started and I think we are looking a lot stronger now with greater strength in depth.

“We do have injuries and suspensions, but the strength is being shown in the good sides that we’re putting out.

“I have good options on the bench now, which is something I didn’t have at the start of the season and I was having to have a very youthful look, but we now have a good mix of ages.

“So I think we are progressing nicely.

“It was a little setback with the League Cup defeat in midweek but the boys are quite a confident bunch.

“We’ve only lost twice in the league, which came against top sides and our next run of games is against sides below us so we’ll be looking to build on what we’ve done already with more points on the board.

“We’re only three points off seventh position and we have a good record of bouncing back from bad results.

“We’ve shown good character and we have good characters in the changing room.

“They are self-critical so they know if they haven’t been good enough and they do tend to up their game for the next game.

“Hopefully that will be the case when we face Fire United on Saturday."

Aaron Donaldson returns from a one-match suspension, but Daniel Edwards still has two games to serve of a three-match ban.

Billy Latto is continuing his comeback from a broken foot and is getting closer to a start but Meadows said they are being cautious with rushing him back too soon.

While he isn't setting firm targets for his team, who currently sit 12th in the division one south table, Meadows is hoping they can continue building and be battling in the top section at the end of the campaign.

He added: “Primarily we want to finish in the top ten because that would put us in the FA Cup for next season but our sights are set much higher than that.

“We want to be in the mix in the top six.

“We know our budget will count against us because there are teams in the league who are throwing a lot of money about at players.

“We see that when we are linked with people and we can’t compete with the wage demands they are making, so that’s difficult but we have a great bunch of lads here who play for each other.

“It’s a tight group we have."